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A quick read of daily headlines makes it increasingly clear that current governance structures are not fully prepared for the security risks of a changing climate. In response to these mounting risks, the Center for Climate and Security, an institute of the Council on Strategic Risks, is releasing a report calling for a framework for using our unprecedented foresight capabilities to anticipate and prevent the unprecedented security risks of climate change. Titled The Responsibility to Prepare and Prevent (R2P2): A Climate Security Governance Framework for the 21st Century, authors Caitlin Werrell and Francesco Femia identify three critical gaps in the international governance of climate security risks that have stalled preparedness and prevention. The report also offers three concrete proposals for filling those gaps to make sure the world avoids the worst of these risks on the horizon. Click here for the full report, and see below for the Executive Summary.
Report summary: The world in the 21st century is characterized by both unprecedented risk and unprecedented foresight. Climate change, population shifts and cyber-threats are rapidly increasing the scale and complexity of risks to international security, while technological developments are increasing our capacity to foresee those risks. This world of high consequence risks, which can be better modeled and anticipated than in the past, underscores a clear responsibility for the international community: A “Responsibility to Prepare.” This responsibility, which builds on hard-won lessons of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) framework for preventing and responding to mass atrocities, requires a reform of existing governance institutions to ensure that critical, nontraditional risks to international security, such as climate change, are anticipated, analyzed and addressed systematically, robustly and rapidly by intergovernmental security institutions and the security establishments of nations that participate in that system. For more, see the Responsibility to Prepare page, including the full report.
The Strauss Center’s Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program recently released a new online dashboard that allows users to assess climate and security vulnerability in Africa. According to their website:
“CCAPS climate dashboard, an online platform that displays data on physical, socio-economic, demographic, and political insecurities to assess how these factors contribute to “climate security” vulnerability in Africa.” (more…)
Alejandro Camacho at the University of California Irvine School of Law has recently released an interesting paper titled “Adapting Governance to Climate Change: Managing Uncertainty through a Learning Infrastructure.” There is a dearth of legal scholarship on the implications of climate change for governance, particularly as it relates to climate adaptation, and this study admirably fills that gap. Camacho identifies “unprecedented uncertainty” as the key challenge (incidentally, that’s the framework that drives our work at the Center), and outlines a recommended framework for the U.S. Congress to build the capacity of the U.S. government to “cope with the effects of climate change.” From the abstract: (more…)
The recent events in the Maldives, which led to the ouster of a President known for his human rights and climate activism, is a potential blow to both the island nation’s fledgling democracy (conceived a mere four years ago), and its ambitions for climate resilience. In the span of a few hours, the country’s democratic dawn turned to democratic night. (more…)